East End visitors can now see the North and South Forks on the same day and by foot — and without ever setting one on Shelter Island.
They now have the option to take a 40-minute ride aboard the new Peconic Bay Water Jitney passenger ferry, which was launched last weekend.
Mattituck business owner Jim Ryan of Response Marine, who proposed the 100-day water taxi pilot plan jointly with Hampton Jitney President Geoffrey Lynch, said the new ferry operation linking Greenport and Sag Harbor has gone “very well.”
Although Mr. Ryan couldn’t provide totals from the company’s first weekend, he said the 53-passenger ferry was near capacity twice on Sunday. The schedule calls for seven round-trips a day on Sundays.
“Every day there’s an increase in ridership,” Mr. Ryan said by phone Monday while aboard a Greenport-bound ferry. “There’s about 28 people here now … We’ve been on schedule. So far, so good.”
In Greenport, passengers board or get off the catamaran at a spot between the camera obscura attraction and the village marina office in Mitchell Park. From there, the ferry hugs the Shelter Island shoreline and docks at the north end of Long Wharf in Sag Harbor.
Last Friday, Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride — along with Village Clerk Beth Kamper, Police Chief Tom Fabiano and Department of Public Works head Dee Yardley — took an initial 10 a.m. run to Greenport to experience the trip firsthand.
“The ride was very enjoyable,” Mr. Gilbride said. “I plan to take my kids and grandkids here.”
While in Greenport, Sag Harbor village officials ate brunch at the Coronet, visited Village Hall and window-shopped.
“It was a great trip and beautiful ride,” Ms. Kamper said.
Peconic Bay Water Jitney also includes bus service to alleviate parking congestion in both villages.
On the South Fork, Hampton Jitney has been shuttling passengers between Bridgehampton, East Hampton and the ferry dock in Sag Harbor.
On the North Fork, shuttle service is set to start next weekend, and will run between Greenport School — where people park — and Mitchell Park Marina on Saturdays and Sundays.
The ferry will make seven trips from each port Sundays through Wednesdays, starting at 7 a.m. from Greenport. There will be nine daily departures from each port Thursdays through Saturdays.
The ride costs $11 for adults one way and $20 round trip. There is no charge for bags, luggage, bicycles or pets, company officials said.
For more information, visit peconicjitney.com.